(asexuality2: a boy/that becomes a boy/that does/ not touch/that we/ do not/ touch//will not touch//that can//not touch/this boy with/out hands/this boy/is with/out/a body/bought)
"The importance—an importance—
I am suggesting, comes
to a nascent or
already-constituted minority of homosexual people
from potential for giving
over the whole "
of relations across class.
—They order, said I, this.
said my gentleman, turning quick upon me
The paranoid Gothic was the novelistic tradition
in which the routing through women of male homosocial desire had the most per-
functory presence; paradoxically, as a result, it was also the tradition that demon-
strated the absolute signifying power, at least from the late eighteenth century on,
of that “heterosexual” minim. As we discussed in chapter 5 , it was (and is) the very
minimalness, the arbitrariness, of the differentiation between male heterosexuality
and its “opposite” that has lent this distinction its power to organize complicated,
historical transactions of power, including power of or over women.
the Gothic preoccu-
pation with the minim and the absolute, with compulsion and prohibition